Once again Laura and I set our sights on weaving, this time in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Seattle, Washington. I will not lie and say I was in a high state of anxiety. Our instructor was Madelyn van der Hoogt, and the class was Weaving II: Beyond the Basics. Learning from the Master!!!! What was I thinking? But all my anxiety was for naught. It was a great class, with a nice group of women, and we had a fabulous time.
Whidbey Island is an idyllic setting for a weaving class. The crisp October weather is very reminiscent of a Scottish coastline. We had sun, rain, and a few pretty nippy days.
The class schedule was a good balance of lecture and weaving time. Amazingly, there were thirty two looms all dressed and ready to go! With twelve of us in residence, there was ample opportunity to get working on the various weave structures that we were reviewing in class. Madelyn is very good at honing in on the point at hand, and almost has a sixth sense towards her students. You know, like a Mom that has eyes in the back of her head. Anyway, it wasn’t long before she had Laura convinced to try the single unit drawloom, and before I knew what was happening I was on the shaft drawloom happily weaving away. It wasn’t as intimidating as it looked, once I got moving on the pattern. It turned out to be my favorite piece of the class!
I learned the importance of advancing the warp to always weave in the “sweet spot”. And although I had used a temple at home with disastrous results, I finally got the hang of it and now I can use a temple without fear. I also have some really fun samples. It’s really freeing when the teacher encourages you to experiment and see where the weaving takes you.
All in all it was quite the experience. Many of the students are repeat, and sign up for the next available class. Madelyn doesn’t teach drawloom anymore, so Laura and I had our sights on our next weaving conquest – drawloom weaving! Thanks Madelyn, for introducing us to that world!